The Transatlantic race to Spain started in Bermuda and was in stark contrast as the course crossed two high pressure zones. The boat that won sailed the isobars. I had argued the point to no avail aboard “Charisma” as it meant sailing at right angles to the course. Less than 24 hours after finishing we set out for Sardinia; for what would be the first Mediterranean Championship; winning every race with Bill Ficker steering.
Working backwards. Before the 2003 race my previous race was in 1975. Newport to Cowes, IOW. A Swan 48 named “Weald”. A fine sailing boat. We broke the headstay just off Nantucket in about 40 knots; the beginning of a strong low. We put into Marblehead and got a new headstay; restarted and managed to pass several boats.
I have raced Dinghys, Big Boats around closed courses with bouys. I enjoyed it enormously. Distance racing is another thing altogether. You use what you learned around the bouys; this is where you are close to other boats and can tell if what you change is right or wrong. in the Ocean you have to have confidence that your choice is the right one. It is unlikely that there will be another boat against which to measure you choices.
I have raced across the Atlantic 9 times. the video below is the last race I sailed; and the quickest crossing ever; for me. I still smile at the memories evoked by the images. In order to have achieved this crossing we had a number of 300+ mile days.
On may 8 2018 two of the boats finished overlapped after 5700 miles. With a foul tide and no wind and fog the positions changed in the final miles.
UNTIL NOW FRANCOIS GABART HAS NOT MISSED A SHIFT. THE RECORD NON-STOP SINGLE-HANDED AROUND THE WORLD IS CLOSE TO BEING RE-SET.
This performance by Francois Gabart is already remarkable in so many ways. If he completes it in record time; which looks likely; it may stand for awhile.
We should not overlook the important role that weather routing played in this event.